Stock Exchange of Mauritius sees indices dip as banking stocks disappoint
The Stock Exchange of Mauritius continues its decline upon low confidence among investors in the financial services sector, given the recent Ponzi scheme in excess of Rs 25 billion, and compounded last week by misleading information pertaining to an alleged customer debt write-off in SBMH. (Image: fxpips.com)
The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) continued its downward trajectory with both the broad equity index, the Semdex, and the bluechip index, the SEM-10, having reported declines of 0.7% and 0.6% each for the week ended 24 April 2015 to close at 1930.44 and 365.0 points respectively.
The reason for the continuing decline in the SEM is the uncertain market environment in Mauritius following the recent Ponzi scheme in excess of Rs 25 billion, and the low investor confidence in the financial services sector was compounded last week by misleading information about debt-write offs in financial services major SBMH.
The official market turnover at the close of the week at Rs 79.6 million, mainly geared towards SBM Holdings Ltd, which accounted for 82.2% of the total market turnover, whereby market capitalisation stood at Rs 214.6 billion and volume traded was Rs 75.4 million.
The lower performance of the SEM-10 can be attributed to the significant drop-off in SBMH share price by 3.3% to close at Rs 0.88 last week, which is arecord low for 2015. This is being attributed to customer debt write-off allegationsmade by a local newspaper, after which the bank released a communiqué expressly noting that “the said article, alleging that advances granted to Mr. Rakesh Gooljaury and/or his companies have been written off by the bank….is false, misleading and totally unfounded.”
Other components of the SEM-10 posted a mixed performance as well, with investment stock Alteo Ltd and Terra Mauricia Ltd posting a flat performance, CIEL Limited inching up by 0.3%, ENL Land Ltd increasing by 1.0% and Rogers & Co. Ltd appreciating by 0.7%.
On the hospitality front, bluechip stocks such as New Mauritius Hotels Ltd and Lux Island Resorts Ltd remained constant at Rs 61.00 and Rs 58.50 respectively.
Banking major and dominant stock market player MCB reported a negative performance with a decline of 0.5%, while conglomerate major Ireland Blyth Limited inched up by 0.4%.